I am a teacher of First Grade. Already my required job load has been increased over the last ten years by more that 75% yet the time given to prepare lessons, meet with parents, grade papers, write reports, and clean my room(custodial cutbacks) has been cut from 210 minutes a week to 80 minutes a week. Already I and my fellow teachers work on Sat. for an average of 5 hours in order to prepare properly. We give up our own time, taking time away from our own families, to make sure your children have a clean, well run classroom and a good education. Without our union, our district would pile even more on us and take more away. I have no problem paying $1,000 a year for my dues. Thank God for my union. And, people, please understand that no one is standing in line to do this job. We have a shortage because most college grads can make far more in the private sector than in teaching. We put up with a lower salary and extra hours because of the trade off for our pension. Please note that we pay 48% into our pension and the state/district matches the rest. We do NOT get social security and our benefit package doesn't even cover us! I pay $165 a month just to cover myself and that is no for good coverage. This profession is just as it always has been.....No one wants this job during good times, and when your fancy jobs fall apart you want to pick on us,,....In fact it seems like the public and the media are always picking on teachers. Why can't you celebrate the difficult job we do and the amount of money and time we dedicate to this job. I repeat that most people would not want my job.....especially when it is a rainy day or week....I hope someone at CNN can really profile this job. We are not getting rich doing this job and we are not getting rich with our pensions. Give me a break and tell the facts please.
Dennis Kucinich just stated that he supports a persons right to organize and bargain collectively and that he opposes the government dicatating saleries of workers. Then why does he not support federal workers bargaining for salaries and benifits?
I have never worked in a union/government sector job so some of my comparison might be a bit off, but I would like to point out some things. I work in IT and I have not worked a regular 40 hour work week in over 20 years, I have been constantly asked to do more with less, including cuts in benefits and retirement. salary freezes, layoffs, working long hours including nights, weekends and yes holidays.
I feel for ANY workers who are truly underpaid, over-worked and under appreciated. However, it has been proven that some, not all, ARE getting rich off of union/government jobs. Getting far better salary and/or benefits when compared to a private sector like job. Those are the stories that are hitting the news so how do you expect the average American to react to that? There is a BIG difference between private and government sector, these jobs are paid for with our tax dollars. People are flat out tired and angry that this sort of behavior has been going on for a long time and we want the madness and abuse to stop. The gravy train is over and that is what I think some of these leaders are trying to rectify, albeit sometimes not doing it the right way or affecting.targeting the incorrect work force.
I wish I had a better answer to this complex issue. I do know it's about time some of this has finally come to light. It's a step in the right direction. Our country needs to re-align it's revenue expectations and costs and needs to be willing to make some tough decisions, and it needs to do this across ALL levels of government, including Congress itself.......
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